MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Gophers enter the season with higher expectations this season thanks to the return of star forward Trevor Mbakwe from a knee injury that kept him out almost all of last year.
All the attention paid to Mbakwe's knee perhaps has overshadowed another big man's comeback. Forward Maurice Walker hasn't played in a game since his freshman season because of problems with his right knee.
The burly Walker will be back in the middle for the season opener on Friday against American, and coach Tubby Smith thinks his presence will be very important. The 295-pound Walker is expected to accompany Mbakwe to add some much-needed toughness and nastiness to the frontcourt.
Walker says he's feeling great and can't wait to play in a meaningful game for the first time since 2010.

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